Secret: What The Former US Ambassador To Kenya Told His Successor


Mr Gration, I am sure you will immensely enjoy your stay in Nairobi. I over did it and even got myself a Kenyan girl. I am not advising you to follow me on this, but Kenya and its people are beautiful and wonderful.

Kenya and America enjoy a historic and cordial relationship. Kenya sends large numbers of students to our universities and the green card lottery is the most popular lottery in Kenya.

Kenya is one of the few countries in Africa that gladly, in fact with embarrassing ease, allow america’s military and intelligence officers unlimited access to all its facilities.

Victim of terrorism

Like America, Kenya has been a victim of terrorism and shares the same vision to eradicate global terrorism.

That is the only way I could explain the palpable enthusiasm Kenyan leaders show, for instance, when I occasionally order them to arrest some Muslim radicals or tell them to send some to Uganda.

Kenyan politicians are quite naive and gullible. The greatest honour you can bestow on a Kenyan politician is to invite him for a cup of tea.

Use this invitation sparingly and selectively. They open their mouths too freely the moment they have their first sip. That is why my leaked diplomatic cables were so revealing.

I have never had the access to higher echelons of power in any country as I did in Kenya. From the highest office downwards, my word and orders have the force of law. I have lectured and dressed down both the President and the Prime Minister.

Both may grumble in private but none had the temerity to summon me to the Foreign ministry.

I have written letters to order, stop and castigate their actions. In fact a mere letter I wrote to the Prime Minister has stopped for good the reopening of a local bank.

The people of Kenya and its leaders would love to hear your voice.

In 2008, I was the only foreigner to address a joint meeting of the Cabinet, top echelons of the security organs, members of parliament and permanent secretaries held at Safari Park Hotel.

Strategy and secrets

This meeting discussed the strategy and secrets of Kenya. What I find most ironical is that Kenya’s top intelligence officer presented a paper on how members of parliament should protect the country from foreign governments and their spies, and there I was smiling in their midst!

Fine, Kenya has a new Constitution. I have endlessly lectured them on the same. Please continue. They have this false but ingrained belief that whatever the American ambassador tells them is the truth.

Lectures on the topics of impunity, grand corruption, the International Criminal Court are particularly popular with Kenyans and their leaders.

Occasionally threaten them by telling them that Obama has specifically instructed you to highlight a particular issue. Kenyan politicians particularly fear the phrase “it is no longer business as usual”.

Can you believe that apart from the President, it is only my motorcade consisting of my official blue Chrysler, and the white Land Cruiser that are officially allowed to drive on the right hand side of the road!

Since this is a country where impunity is rife, I have decided to take some liberties. No traffic policeman has ever dared to stop me as my siren is always on.

Just before I left, I called the big wigs of both ODM and PNU and ordered them to appoint a lady judge my staff had identified as the new chief justice.

She is the right tribe and both my staff and myself were happy with her credentials. Please ensure that my order is obeyed and let them know the consequences if they disregard my order.